Summer school: Texas

7 Jul

By Sam Duren
National Hoops Report

With the July recruiting period right around the corner, college coaches are shifting their focus to recruiting. The July period marks the first time coaches can see high school players in person against equal level competition. What’s going on in the Big 12? The National Hoops Report will take a look at the recruiting landscape of all of the teams in the conference. Today, we look at Texas.

Open Scholarships: 6

Texas is a young team with 6 incoming freshman from the 2011 class and they’re likely to stay young as they will add 6 more new players in 2012 as well.  They only graduate two players but after multiple departures the Horns only have 9 scholarship players on the 2011-12 roster.  The two seniors on the Longhorn roster are both post players and with only two returning forwards the needs for bigs is at a premium.  The Horns already have an elite post locked up in top 15 national recruit Cameron Ridley and are likely to add more size.

Commits

Cameron Ridley, 6’10 C, Fort Bend Bush – Ridley got the ball rolling for Texas back in January and is the Longhorn’s only commitment.  The 6 foot 10 center is well built at 245 pounds and is a bruiser with a back to the basket game.

Offers

L.J. Rose, 6’3 PG, Westbury Christian, TX
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, 6’3 PG, Oak Hill Academy
Ray Lee, 6’3 PG, Huntington Prep
Marcus Smart, 6’3 SG, Flower Mound Marcus, TX
Christian Sanders, 6’3 SG, St Thomas, Houston, TX
Ricardo Ledo, 6’5 SG, Notre Dame Prep
Winston Shepard, 6’8 SF, Findlay Prep
Brandon Ashley, 6’8 PF, Findlay Prep
Mitch McGary, 6’10 C, Brewster Academy
Prince Ibeh, 6’10 C, Garland Naaman Forrest, TX
Robert Upshaw, 6’11 C, San Juaquin Memorial, CA

They say everything is bigger in Texas and this recruiting class is shaping up to match that motto.  Cameron Ridley is the first Horn commitment and is one of the biggest and best centers in the nation, he also won’t be the last big man addition in 2012.   The Horns are offering big man from all over to pair with Ridley.

Robert Upshaw has seen his stock rise this spring out West, while Indiana native and current Brewster Academy big man Mitch McGary is also among the Horns targets.  In state, defensive specialist Prince Ibeh is also being targeted.

Two more Texas based forwards likely to get offered by Texas following the July period are Danrad “Chicken” Knowles and Danuel House.  The duo both play for one of the top AAU teams in Texas and the nation in Texas PRO and have seen their stock sky rocket in this spring.  The Horns have expressed interest but are waiting to get a first hand look at both before extending scholarship offers.

Another big who has seen his recruitment pick up recently is Findlay Prep big man Laden Lucas.  The 6 foot 9 center has started to receive contact from multiple high major schools including Texas.  The Longhorns of course have had great success at getting Findlay Prep products in recent years. Lucas isn’t the only Findlay Prep product on the Horns’ radar, so is 6 foot 8 small forward Winston Shepard.  Shepard goes to Findlay Prep but is also a Houston native.

Power guard Marcus Smart has recently announced that Texas is one of three schools he plans to visit which means Rick Barnes and staff will be likely have front row seats to the Smart show in July.  Smart is only 6 foot 3 but his toughness makes him play much bigger.  Other guard targets include former Providence commitment Ricardo Ledo, one of the top scorers in the nation and Washington native Anrio Adams.

The three Texas point guards are all listed at taller than normal size for points at 6 foot 3.  L.J. Rose is the local target out of Houston.  D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera is a strong physical point guard.  Ray Lee is a Michigan Native now out at Huntington Prep in West Virginia and hopes to take an official visit to Texas in the fall.

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